Spinach Pesto Grilled Sandwiches Recipe | Spinach Pesto Recipe
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. Period. ......... What? You actually are waiting for me to say something more? But...but..(splutter)..its Grilled CHEESE Sandwich people..you don't have to say more. Aaaaah! I get it. You were wondering about eating this  healthy, low fat (no fat, shucks - no calorie) diet thing. Weren't you? I knew it. You had to rain on my parade. Well, a poor working (frazzled) woman and a mother to a "my-battery-never-runs-low" toddler has to eat. OKAY? OK :)
Spinach Pesto Grilled Sandwiches Recipe | Spinach Pesto Recipe
Now that I have conned convinced you about this splurge, let me continue on to sing its praises. This, right here, must be the food for the gods! If you smirked about that - then well, dear pal, you have had too many grilled cheese sandwiches to even appreciate its integrity (or had none). Home made fresh Spinach Basil Pesto, that's so aromatic enough to dazzle your mind, sandwiched between two humble (and stale at that!) slices with the gooey, silky and chewy melting cheese taking a center stage - OK now even I am hungry.
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 2 people
  • Yields: Makes 2 sandwiches.
Ingredients
    For the Sandwiches
  • 4 Slices of Sandwich Bread, see Tips
  • 2 thinly sliced fresh (room temperature) Mozzarella Cheese, see Tips
  • 2-4 tbsp Spinach Pesto, or as needed
  • Butter, melted, as needed
    For Spinach Pesto
  • 1 cup tightly packed (abt 2.5oz/70 grams) baby Spinach
  • 1/2 cup (abt 2 oz/60 grams) sliced Almonds
  • 3/4 cup tightly packed (abt 2oz/60 grams) fresh Basil
  • 1/2 cup (abt 2 oz/60grams) grated vegetarian Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil, see Tips
  • Pinch of Salt, see Tips
Tips
1) Mozzarella Cheese : I love fresh Mozzarella cheese and hence find excuses to use it. But you can use any other cheese you like. You also get sliced mozzarella cheese that you can use in this recipe. You would probably need 2 slices per sandwich.
2) Olive oil: For a good restaurant style pesto, you would need additional 1/4 cup (total 1/2 cup) olive oil. I tend to cut corners where it least affects me hence tend to use half the amount. For this recipe, the thick consistency works but if making it for a pasta, I would replace that 1/4 cup with (cooked) pasta water to get a smoother consistency.
3) Salt: Be careful with the salt. Spinach and cheese together contribute to more than enough salt among themselves and hence a wee little sprinkle goes a long way.
4) Bread: I used my leftover loaf of American White Sandwich Bread. But you can use store bought or any other wholegrain bread for this recipe (and increase your fiber in the process :))
Method
1. Clean the spinach (and basil) of any debris. I have tried to provide the precise amount of spinach and basil I have used, since "tightly-packed" could come out weighing differently (depending on your stamina and how much anger you have, at someone worth punching, that you mimed on the poor greens!)
2. Toast the almonds until slightly reddish.
3. Add all the ingredients together (except the oil) for the spinach pesto in a processor.
4.

Process into smooth paste while drizzling olive oil. Read the tip 2 for the amount of olive oil. Set aside. You will not need all the pesto for this recipe but it has a decent shelf life.

Note: I think it would keep well in a fridge for about 3 weeks. Store it in an air tight container and drizzle some olive oil on top of the pesto to prevent discoloration. In that case you can also use the full 1/2 cup olive oil (instead of just 1/4 cup - refer tip 2). I think it would keep even longer if frozen. Personally I have never stored it for more than 10 days by which times I use it all up.

5. I used homemade American White Sandwich Bread for this recipe that I had leftover. But a store bought White bread (or a wholegrain bread) will also work. I sliced of my leftover into 4 slices.
6. The fresh mozzarella slices next. A thin slice is sufficient although who am I to say how much is really sufficient when it comes to cheese ;). I used 2 slices, one of each sandwich.
7. Spread some of the pesto on one side of the bread. Do the same for the other bread.
8. Now add a cheese slice on top of one of the bread.
9. Place the other bread , pesto side down, on top of the cheese to sandwich the filling.
10. Place this on a greased grill pan. The amount of butter will depend on the skillet. If using regular non stick pan, just a little is sufficient. I am using a cast iron grill pan and used a tad bit more.
11. Weigh it down with some heavy bottle/container. I used my pie weights for the same purpose. And that's a wax paper on top of my bread. Grill this for about 3-4 minutes on low-medium heat.
12. Turn the other side. This slow heating will kickstart the cheese melting process :) See that gooey cheese peeking? Yum!
13. Repeat on the other side.
Serve hot. I enjoyed it with some leftover roasted tomato soup. Spinach Pesto Grilled Sandwiches Recipe | Spinach Pesto Recipe

Recipe Reference

sandwiches recipe from my kitchen notes and spinach pesto recipe adapted from bhg.com's recipe

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1 Member Reviews

By Jonia on Apr 28, 2014

hey i made it nd it turned out wonderful

just wanted to know if u use fresh parmesan or bottled

I use fresh vegetarian parm that i grate myself :) --DK

16 Comments

By Pervin Guha on Jan 31, 2014

Very intetesting recipe. I hv tried only basil pest. Basil or tulsi leaves will later do?? Pl clarify.I also used pinenuts shall try almonds.thks agn.

By Priya on Sep 8, 2013

8) Hi Divya-Priya-Karthik's cousin here.Very impressed with your website and recipes-amazing and mouthwatering!

By Weekly Meal Plan – Making everyday cooking easy – #8 on Jun 8, 2013

[...] Spinach Pesto Grilled cheese sandwich [...]

By Weekly Meal Plan – Making everyday cooking easy on Mar 9, 2013

[...] Spinach Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich & Roasted Tomato Soup [...]

By Kavitha on Sep 9, 2012

Hi DK, I have a query regarding this receipe:Can we use grana padano cheese as substitute for parmesan cheese and frozen spinach for baby spinach in this receipe?

Hi Kavitha, I dunno about the cheese, havent tasted it - hence have no idea. But there is no harm adapting a recipe to make it your own - is there? Experimenting, in my opinion, is what makes cooking all the more interesting :) --DK

By maheen on Sep 4, 2012

It looks delicious and I Love this recipe. :)

By Archana on Sep 3, 2012

Looks yum. Will buy spinach just to make this delicious salad after these rains stop. Too scared to buy leafy veggies now.

By Ranji on Aug 31, 2012

Looks deeee-lish.... can you please tell me what the name of that utube video you had on the right side of the page that talked about the Banglorean Brahamin good samaritan? I can't seem to find it in utube... thank you. It was so amazing I want to share it with friends and family!!! :)

By radha on Aug 31, 2012

This looks so good. A nice rich filling. Who would want anything more?

By Nandita on Aug 30, 2012

This looks heavenly DK. This indeed is the mother of all cheese sandwiches :)

YOU said it....Indeed! --DK

By Simran on Aug 30, 2012

Sounds heavenly. Am gonna surely try it :-)

By Sowmya on Aug 30, 2012

What a nutrituous Pesto!!! Love adding spinach.. Nice stepwise as usual... I knew some sandwich is coming espescially after the great sandwich bread recipe!!! Sowmya

You are a proactive thinker! Smart assumption :) :) --DK

By Priya on Aug 30, 2012

Feel like having that irresistible sandwich.

By Hema Shantha Raman on Aug 30, 2012

Any way in which we can use cooked spinach in the pesto. Too scared to eat it raw in Chennai. Nice post. Thanks Hema

Your fear is justified. I dunno of a pesto with cooked spinach. But I think you can cook spinach to make a thick puree (with little salt) and prepare the basil pesto. While layering, you can mix the spinach and pesto along with cheese. It might work. Just make sure not to overcook the spinach cos it will lose its color. A light blanch until it starts wilting and puree should be enough....If u try it, lemme know. Will add that variation to my "Tips" section for others with the same issue --DK

By Aarthi on Aug 30, 2012

Fabulous !! I am going to try this weekend itself. Very creative idea indeed. Love it !!!! Please do keep posting more exciting simple recipes like this. I love your recipes :mrgreen:

I will def. try to :) Thank you --DK

By shilpa on Aug 30, 2012

Nutrituous Food foR A&A and easy to make Also...Thank u Dhivi....